News Corp. Confirms Intent to Separate Publishing and Entertainment Businesses
News Corp. (NASDAQ: NWSA) (NASDAQ: NWS) has officially announced its plans to split up its core businesses -- publishing and entertainment -- in a move that the media conglomerate said will "enhance strategic alignment and increase operational flexibility."
If the separation occurs, News Corp. will form a new publishing entity that encompasses all of the company's newspapers and information businesses in the United States, United Kingdom and Australia, along with its various book publishing brands, marketing services company and digital education group.
On the entertainment side, News Corp. plans to build a global company that includes the firm's broadcast and worldwide cable networks, film and TV production studios, and full fleet of TV stations, as well as the pay-TV businesses that News Corp. commands in Europe and India.
"There is much work to be done, but our Board and I believe that this new corporate structure we are pursuing would accelerate News Corporation's businesses to grow to new heights, and enable each company and its divisions to recognize their full potential – and unlock even greater long-term shareholder value," Rupert Murdoch, chairman and CEO of News Corporation, said in a company release. "News Corporation's 60-year heritage of developing world-class media brands has resulted in a large and unparalleled portfolio of diversified assets.
"We recognize that over the years, News Corporation's broad collection of assets have become increasingly complex. We determined that creating this new structure would simplify operations and greater align strategic priorities, enabling each company to better deliver on our commitments to consumers across the globe. I am 100 percent committed to the future of both the publishing and media and entertainment businesses and, if the Board ultimately approves a separation, I would serve as Chairman of both companies."
News Corp. said that by separating its businesses into individual publicly traded corporations, the firm will "enhance overall shareholder value" and allow each company to:
- "Focus on and pursue distinct strategic priorities and industry-specific opportunities that would maximize their long-term potential."
- "Benefit from greater financial and operational flexibility and better position each company to compete."
- "Respond and react more quickly to rapidly-evolving technology and global market opportunities."
- "Tailor its capital structure, and allocate and deploy resources in a manner consistent with its strategic objectives that best enhances value for its respective shareholder group."
News Corp. hopes to complete the separation in approximately 12 months. The publishing and entertainment giant said that once the proposed transaction has closed, current shareholders would receive one share of common stock in the new company for each same class News Corp. share currently held. After the separation, each company would maintain two classes of common stock: Class A Common and Class B Common Voting Shares.
Murdoch would serve as the CEO of the new entertainment company, and serve as chairman of both companies, while Chase Carey would serve as president and COO of the entertainment company.
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